Poetry

1919

1919

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NPR Best Books of 2019
Chicago Tribune Best Books of 2019

Chicago Review of Books Best Poetry Book of 2019
O Magazine Best Books by Women of Summer 2019
The Millions Must-Read Poetry of June 2019
LitHub Most Anticipated Reads of Summer 2019


The Chicago Race Riot of 1919, the most intense of the riots comprising the nation's Red Summer, has shaped the last century but is not widely discussed. In 1919, award-winning poet Eve L. Ewing explores the story of this event--which lasted eight days and resulted in thirty-eight deaths and almost 500 injuries--through poems recounting the stories of everyday people trying to survive and thrive in the city. Ewing uses speculative and Afrofuturist lenses to recast history, and illuminates the thin line between the past and the present.

Aeneid

Aeneid

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Long a master of the crafts of Homeric translation and of rhapsodic performance, Stanley Lombardo now turns to the quintessential epic of Roman antiquity, a work with deep roots in the Homeric tradition. With characteristic virtuosity, he delivers a rendering of the Aeneid as compelling as his groundbreaking translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey, yet one that--like the Aeneid itself--conveys a unique epic sensibility and a haunting artistry all its own.

W. R. Johnson's Introduction makes an ideal companion to the translation, offering brilliant insight into the legend of Aeneas; the contrasting roles of the gods, fate, and fortune in Homeric versus Virgilian epic; the character of Aeneas as both wanderer and warrior; Aeneas' relationship to both his enemy Turnus and his lover Dido; the theme of doomed youths in the epic; and Virgil's relationship to the brutal history of Rome that he memorializes in his poem.

A map, a Glossary of Names, a Translator's Preface, and Suggestions for Further Reading are also included.

Be Holding: A Poem

Be Holding: A Poem

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Winner of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award
Be Holding is a love song to legendary basketball player Julius Erving--known as Dr. J--who dominated courts in the 1970s and '80s as a small forward for the Philadelphia '76ers. But this book-length poem is more than just an ode to a magnificent athlete. Through a kind of lyric research, or lyric meditation, Ross Gay connects Dr. J's famously impossible move from the 1980 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers to pick-up basketball and the flying Igbo and the Middle Passage, to photography and surveillance and state violence, to music and personal histories of flight and familial love. Be Holding wonders how the imagination, or how our looking, might make us, or bring us, closer to each other. How our looking might make us reach for each other. And might make us be reaching for each other. And how that reaching might be something like joy.

Be Holding is a love song to legendary basketball player Julius Erving—known as Dr. J—who dominated courts in the 1970s and ‘80s as a small forward for the Philadelphia ‘76ers. But this book-length poem is more than just an ode to a magnificent athlete. Through a kind of lyric research, or lyric meditation, Ross Gay connects Dr. J’s famously impossible move from the 1980 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers to pick-up basketball and the flying Igbo and the Middle Passage, to photography and surveillance and state violence, to music and personal histories of flight and familial love. Be Holding wonders how the imagination, or how our looking, might make us, or bring us, closer to each other. How our looking might make us reach for each other. And might make us be reaching for each other. And how that reaching might be something like joy.

Chicago Poems

Chicago Poems

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Chicago Poems (1916) was Carl Sandburg's first-published book of verse. Written in the poet's unique, personal idiom, these poems embody a soulfulness, lyric grace, and a love of and compassion for the common man that earned Sandburg a reputation as a poet of the people.
Among the dozens of poems in this collection are such well-known verses as Chicago, Fog, To a Contemporary Bunkshooter, Who Am I? and Under the Harvest Moon, as well as numerous others on themes of war, immigrant life, death, love, loneliness, and the beauty of nature. These early poems reveal the simplicity of style, honesty, and vision that characterized all of Sandburg's work and earned him enormous popularity in the 1920s and '30s and a Pulitzer prize in poetry in 1951.

Citizen Illegal

Citizen Illegal

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"Citizen Illegal is right on time, bringing both empathy and searing critique to the fore as a nation debates the very humanity of the people who built it." --Eve Ewing, author of Electric Arches

In this stunning debut, poet José Olivarez explores the stories, contradictions, joys, and sorrows that embody life in the spaces between Mexico and America. He paints vivid portraits of good kids, bad kids, families clinging to hope, life after the steel mills, gentrifying barrios, and everything in between. Drawing on the rich traditions of Latinx and Chicago writers like Sandra Cisneros and Gwendolyn Brooks, Olivarez creates a home out of life in the in-between. Combining wry humor with potent emotional force, Olivarez takes on complex issues of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and immigration using an everyday language that invites the reader in. Olivarez has a unique voice that makes him a poet to watch.

José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants. He is a co-host of the podcast, The Poetry Gods. A winner of fellowships from Poets House, The Bronx Council On The Arts, The Poetry Foundation, and The Conversation Literary Festival, his work has been published in The BreakBeat Poets and elsewhere. He is the Marketing Manager at Young Chicago Authors.

DMZ Colony

DMZ Colony

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WINNER OF THE 2020 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR POETRY

Don Mee Choi's urgent DMZ Colony captures the migratory latticework of those transformed by war and colonization. Homelands present and past share one sky where birds fly, but 'during the Korean War cranes had no place to land.' Devastating and vigilant, this bricolage of survivor accounts, drawings, photographs, and hand-written texts unearth the truth between fact and the critical imagination. We are all 'victims of History, ' so Choi compels us to witness, and to resist.--Judges Citation

Woven from poems, prose, photographs, and drawings, Don Mee Choi's DMZ Colony is a tour de force of personal and political reckoning set over eight acts. Evincing the power of translation as a poetic device to navigate historical and linguistic borders, it explores Edward Said's notion of the intertwined and overlapping histories in regards to South Korea and the United States through innovative deployments of voice, story, and poetics. Like its sister book, Hardly War, it holds history accountable, its very presence a resistance to empire and a hope in humankind.

Woven from poems, prose, photographs, and drawings, Don Mee Choi's DMZ Colony is a tour de force of personal and political reckoning set over eight acts. Evincing the power of translation as a poetic device to navigate historical and linguistic borders, it explores Edward Said's notion of "the intertwined and overlapping histories" in regards to South Korea and the United States through innovative deployments of voice, story, and poetics. Like its sister book, Hardly War, it holds history accountable, its very presence a resistance to empire and a hope in humankind.

Everything Must Go

Everything Must Go

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Everything Must Go is an illustrated collection of poems in the spirit of a graphic novel, a collaboration between poet Kevin Coval and illustrator Langston Allston.

The book celebrates Chicago's Wicker Park in the late 1990's, Coval's home as a young artist, the ancestral neighborhood of his forebears, and a vibrant enclave populated by colorful characters. Allston's illustrations honor the neighborhood as it once was, before gentrification remade it.

The book excavates and mourns that which has been lost in transition and serves as a template for understanding the process of displacement and reinvention currently reshaping American cities.

Hull

Hull

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WINNER of the JUDITH A. MARKOWITZ AWARD

2020 LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD WINNER

LONGLISTED for the HEARTLAND BOOKSELLERS AWARD

In this debut collection by African American poet Xandria Phillips, HULL explores emotional impacts of colonialism and racism on the Black queer body and the present-day emotional impacts of enslavement in urban, rural, and international settings. HULL is lyrical, layered, history-ridden, experimental, textured, adorned, ecstatic, and emotionally investigative.

In this debut collection by African American poet Xandria Phillips, HULL explores emotional impacts of colonialism and racism on the Black queer body and the present-day emotional impacts of enslavement in urban, rural, and international settings. HULL is lyrical, layered, history-ridden, experimental, textured, adorned, ecstatic, and emotionally investigative.

LOVE SONGS OF W.E.B. DU BOIS:

LOVE SONGS OF W.E.B. DU BOIS:

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A New York Times Book Everyone Will Be Talking About

"This sweeping, brilliant and beautiful narrative is at once a love song to Black girlhood, family, history, joy, pain... and so much more. In Jeffers' deft hands, the story of race and love in America becomes the great American novel." --Jacqueline Woodson, author of Red at the Bone and Another Brooklyn

Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize - An Indie Next Pick - A People 5 Best Books of the Summer - A Good Morning America 15 Summer Book Club Picks - An Essence Best Book of the Summer - A Time 11 Best Books of the Month - A Washington Post 10 Books of the Month - A CNN Best Book of the Month - A Ms. Most Anticipated Book of the Year - A Goodreads Most Anticipated Book of the Year - A Book Page Writer to Watch - A USA Today Hottest Summer Book - A Chicago Tribune Summer Must-Read - An Observer Best Summer Book - A Millions Most Anticipated Book - A Ms. Book of the Month - A BiblioLifestyle Most Anticipated Literary Book of the Summer - A Deep South Best Book of the Summer - Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

The 2020 National Book Award-nominated poet makes her fiction debut with this magisterial epic--an intimate yet sweeping novel with all the luminescence and force of Homegoing; Sing, Unburied, Sing; and The Water Dancer--that chronicles the journey of one American family, from the centuries of the colonial slave trade through the Civil War to our own tumultuous era.

The great scholar, W. E. B. Du Bois, once wrote about the Problem of race in America, and what he called "Double Consciousness," a sensitivity that every African American possesses in order to survive. Since childhood, Ailey Pearl Garfield has understood Du Bois's words all too well. Bearing the names of two formidable Black Americans--the revered choreographer Alvin Ailey and her great grandmother Pearl, the descendant of enslaved Georgians and tenant farmers--Ailey carries Du Bois's Problem on her shoulders.

Ailey is reared in the north in the City but spends summers in the small Georgia town of Chicasetta, where her mother's family has lived since their ancestors arrived from Africa in bondage. From an early age, Ailey fights a battle for belonging that's made all the more difficult by a hovering trauma, as well as the whispers of women--her mother, Belle, her sister, Lydia, and a maternal line reaching back two centuries--that urge Ailey to succeed in their stead.

To come to terms with her own identity, Ailey embarks on a journey through her family's past, uncovering the shocking tales of generations of ancestors--Indigenous, Black, and white--in the deep South. In doing so Ailey must learn to embrace her full heritage, a legacy of oppression and resistance, bondage and independence, cruelty and resilience that is the story--and the song--of America itself.

The great scholar, W. E. B. Du Bois, once wrote about the Problem of race in America, and what he called “Double Consciousness,” a sensitivity that every African American possesses in order to survive. Since childhood, Ailey Pearl Garfield has understood Du Bois’s words all too well. Bearing the names of two formidable Black Americans—the revered choreographer Alvin Ailey and her great grandmother Pearl, the descendant of enslaved Georgians and tenant farmers—Ailey carries Du Bois’s Problem on her shoulders.

Ailey is reared in the north in the City but spends summers in the small Georgia town of Chicasetta, where her mother’s family has lived since their ancestors arrived from Africa in bondage. From an early age, Ailey fights a battle for belonging that’s made all the more difficult by a hovering trauma, as well as the whispers of women—her mother, Belle, her sister, Lydia, and a maternal line reaching back two centuries—that urge Ailey to succeed in their stead.

To come to terms with her own identity, Ailey embarks on a journey through her family’s past, uncovering the shocking tales of generations of ancestors—Indigenous, Black, and white—in the deep South. In doing so Ailey must learn to embrace her full heritage, a legacy of oppression and resistance, bondage and independence, cruelty and resilience that is the story—and the song—of America itself.

Memorial: A Version of Homer's Iliad

Memorial: A Version of Homer's Iliad

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In this daring new work, the poet Alice Oswald strips away the narrative of the Iliad--the anger of Achilles, the story of Helen--in favor of attending to its atmospheres: the extended similes that bring so much of the natural order into the poem and the corresponding litany of the war-dead, most of whom are little more than names but each of whom lives and dies unforgettably and unforgotten in the copious retrospect of Homer's glance. The resulting poem is a war memorial and a profoundly responsive work that gives new voice to Homer's level-voiced version of the world. Through a mix of narrative and musical repetition, the sequence becomes a meditation on the loss of human life.

In this daring new work, the poet Alice Oswald strips away the narrative of the Iliad―the anger of Achilles, the story of Helen―in favor of attending to its atmospheres: the extended similes that bring so much of the natural order into the poem and the corresponding litany of the war-dead, most of whom are little more than names but each of whom lives and dies unforgettably and unforgotten in the copious retrospect of Homer’s glance. The resulting poem is a war memorial and a profoundly responsive work that gives new voice to Homer’s level-voiced version of the world. Through a mix of narrative and musical repetition, the sequence becomes a meditation on the loss of human life.